(John 1:1–5; Hebrews 11:1–3)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
The First Day
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” a and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.”
And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. b
The Second Day
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse c between the waters, to separate the waters from the waters.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the waters beneath it from the waters above. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.”
And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
The Third Day
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered into one place, so that the dry land may appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land “earth,” and the gathering of waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each bearing fruit with seed according to its kind.” And it was so. 12 The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
The Fourth Day
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between the day and the night, and let them be signs to mark the seasons and days and years. 15 And let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so.
16 God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. And He made the stars as well.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
The Fifth Day
20 And God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds, and every bird of flight after its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
The Sixth Day
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, land crawlers, and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself d and every creature that crawls upon it.”
27 So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them. e
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth—everything that has the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
3 a Cited in 2 Corinthians 4:6
5 b Literally day one
6 c Or a canopy or a firmament or a vault ; also in verses 7, 8, 14, 15, 17, and 20
26 d MT; Syriac and over all the beasts of the earth
27 e Cited in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6
The Seventh Day
(Exodus 16:22–30; Hebrews 4:1–11)
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on that day He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished.
Man and Woman in the Garden
5 Now no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth, nor had any plant of the field sprouted; for the LORD God had not yet sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But springs c welled up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, where He placed the man He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God gave growth to every tree that is pleasing to the eye and good for food. And in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it branched into four headwaters:
13 The name of the second river is Gihon;it winds through the whole land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it runs along the east side of Assyria.
And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 Then the LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.
16 And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
18 The LORD God also said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make for him a suitable helper.”
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and He brought them to the man to see what he would name each one. And whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam e no suitable helper was found.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he slept, He took one of the man’s ribs f and closed up the area with flesh. 22 And from the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man, He made a woman and brought her to him. 23 And the man said:
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed.
2 a Cited in Hebrews 4:4
4 b LORD or GOD , with capital letters, represents the proper name of the God of Israel and the one true God, transliterated from the Hebrew as YHWH ; here and throughout the Scriptures.
6 c Or mist
7 d Or a living soul ; cited in 1 Corinthians 15:45
20 e Or the man , as in verses 19 and 21
21 f Or took part of the man’s side ; similarly in verse 22
24 g LXX and the two will become one flesh ; cited in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7–8, 1 Corinthians 6:16, and Ephesians 5:31
The Serpent’s Deception
2 The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You must not eat of it or touch it, or you will die.’ ”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom, she took the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
7 And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed together fig leaves and made coverings for themselves.
God Arraigns Adam and Eve
9 But the LORD God called out to the man, “Where are you?”
10 “I heard Your voice in the garden,” he replied, “and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
11 “Who told you that you were naked?” asked the LORD God. “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 And the man answered, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied, “and I ate.”
The Fate of the Serpent
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and every beast of the field!
On your belly will you go,
and dust you will eat,
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel. c”
The Punishment of Mankind
16 To the woman He said:
“I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth;
in pain you will bring forth children.
Your desire will be for your husband, d
and he will rule over you.”
17 And to Adam He said:
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten from the tree
of which I commanded you not to eat,
cursed is the ground because of you;
through toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it will yield for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your bread,
until you return to the ground—
because out of it were you taken.
For dust you are,
and to dust you shall return.”
The Expulsion from Paradise
21 And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.
22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. And now, lest he reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...”
23 Therefore the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 So He drove out the man and stationed cherubim on the east side of the Garden of Eden, along with a whirling sword of flame to guard the way to the tree of life.
1 a Hebrew nachash , translated in this chapter as serpent , is translated in most cases as snake .
8 b Or at the breezy (time) ; Hebrew unto the Ruach
15 c Or He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel . The same Hebrew root for crush , bruise , or strike appears twice in this verse.
16 d Or You will desire to control your husband
20 e Eve sounds like the Hebrew for giving life or living .
Cain and Abel
“With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man,” she said.
2 Later she gave birth to Cain’s brother Abel.
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, while Cain was a tiller of the soil. 3 So in the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruit of the soil as an offering to the LORD, 4 while Abel brought the best portions of the firstborn of his flock.
And the LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but He had no regard for Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell.
6 “Why are you angry,” said the LORD to Cain, “and why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you refuse to do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires you, b but you must master it.”
9 And the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I do not know!” he answered. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 “What have you done?” replied the LORD. “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it will no longer yield its produce to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
13 But Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment d is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, this day You have driven me from the face of the earth, and from Your face I will be hidden; I will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
The Descendants of Cain
17 And Cain had relations with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain built a city and named it after his son Enoch.
18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methusael, and Methusael was the father of Lamech. 19 And Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.
22 And Zillah gave birth to Tubal-cain, a forger of every implement of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23 Then Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
wives of Lamech, listen to my speech.
For I have slain a man for wounding me,
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” g
Seth and Enosh
26 And to Seth also a son was born, and he called him Enosh.
At that time men began to call upon i the name of the LORD.
1 a Cain sounds like the Hebrew for acquired or brought forth .
7 b Or it desires to control you
8 c SP, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew Then Cain spoke to his brother Abel.
13 d Or guilt or sin
15 e LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac; Hebrew “Very well!” or “Therefore:”
16 f Nod means wandering .
24 g Hebrew; LXX can be translated as either seventy times seven or seventy-sevenfold ; see also Matthew 18:22.
25 h Seth probably means granted or appointed .
26 i Or to proclaim ; some translators to invoke or to call themselves by or to profane
The Descendants of Adam
(1 Chronicles 1:1–3)
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in His own likeness. 2 Male and female He created them, a and He blessed them. And in the day they were created, He called them “man.” b
3 When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son in his own likeness, after his own image;and he named him Seth. 4 And after he had become the father of Seth, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 So Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
6 When Seth was 105 years old, he became the father of Enosh. 7 And after he had become the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 So Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.
9 When Enosh was 90 years old, he became the father of Kenan. 10 And after he had become the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 So Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.
12 When Kenan was 70 years old, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 And after he had become the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 So Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.
15 When Mahalalel was 65 years old, he became the father of Jared. 16 And after he had become the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 So Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.
God Takes Up Enoch
18 When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he had become the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 So Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.
21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he had become the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God c 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 So Enoch lived a total of 365 years.
From Methuselah to Noah
25 When Methuselah was 187 years old, he became the father of Lamech. 26 And after he had become the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 So Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.
28 When Lamech was 182 years old, he had a son. 29 And he named him Noah, e saying, “May this one comfort us in the labor and toil of our hands caused by the ground that the LORD has cursed.” 30 And after he had become the father of Noah, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 So Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
2 a Cited in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6
2 b Hebrew Adam
22 c LXX pleased God ; also in verse 24
24 d LXX and he was not found, because God had taken him away ; cited in Hebrews 11:5
29 e Noah sounds like the Hebrew for rest or comfort .
Corruption on the Earth
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and afterward as well—when the sons of God had relations with the daughters of men. And they bore them children who became the mighty men of old, men of renown.
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time. 6 And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—every man and beast and crawling creature and bird of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”
Noah’s Favor with God
8 Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Preparing the Ark
13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all living creatures has come before Me, because through them the earth is full of violence. Now behold, I will destroy both them and the earth.
14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; c make rooms in the ark and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 And this is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. d 16 You are to make a roof e for the ark, finish its walls a cubit from the top, f place a door in the side of the ark, and build lower, middle, and upper decks.
17 And behold, I will bring floodwaters upon the earth to destroy every creature under the heavens that has the breath of life. Everything on the earth will perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.
19 And you are to bring two of every living creature into the ark—male and female—to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird and animal and crawling creature will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are also to take for yourself every kind of food that is eaten and gather it as food for yourselves and for the animals.”
22 So Noah did everything precisely as God had commanded him.
3 a LXX and Syriac My Spirit will not remain in man forever
12 b Literally all flesh ; similarly in verses 13, 17, and 19
14 c Gopher is an unknown kind of tree; possibly cypress or cedar .
15 d The ark was approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high (137.2 meters long, 22.9 meters wide, and 13.7 meters high).
16 e Or skylight or window
16 f A cubit is approximately 18 inches or 45.7 centimeters.
The Great Flood
(2 Peter 3:1–7)
1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 You are to take with you seven pairs of a every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate;a pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate; 3 and seven pairs of every kind of bird of the air, male and female, to preserve their offspring on the face of all the earth. 4 For seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.”
5 And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.
6 Now Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters came upon the earth. 7 And Noah and his wife, with his sons and their wives, entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 The clean and unclean animals, the birds, and everything that crawls along the ground 9 came to Noah to enter the ark, two by two, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And after seven days the floodwaters came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.
13 On that very day Noah entered the ark, along with his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and his wife, and the three wives of his sons— 14 they and every kind of wild animal, livestock, crawling creature, bird, and winged creature. 15 They came to Noah to enter the ark, two by two of every creature b with the breath of life. 16 And they entered, the male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and the waters rose and lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 So the waters continued to surge and rise greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. 19 Finally, the waters completely inundated the earth, so that all the high mountains under all the heavens were covered.
20 The waters rose and covered the mountaintops to a depth of fifteen cubits. c 21 And every living thing that moved upon the earth perished—birds, livestock, animals, every creature that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind. 22 Of all that was on dry land, everything that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 And every living thing on the face of the earth was destroyed—man and livestock, crawling creatures and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth, and only Noah and those with him in the ark remained.
24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth for 150 days.
2 a Or by sevens ; also in verse 3
15 b Literally of all flesh ; similarly in verses 16 and 21
20 c 15 cubits is approximately 22.5 feet or 6.9 meters.
The Ark Rests on Ararat
1 But God remembered Noah and all the animals and livestock that were with him in the ark. And God sent a wind over the earth, and the waters began to subside. 2 The springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained. 3 The waters receded steadily from the earth, and after 150 days the waters had gone down.
4 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
Noah Sends a Raven and a Dove
8 Then Noah sent out a a dove to see if the waters had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove found no place to rest her foot, and she returned to him in the ark, because the waters were still covering the surface of all the earth. So he reached out his hand and brought her back inside the ark.
10 Noah waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 And behold, the dove returned to him in the evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak. So Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.
12 And Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove again, but this time she did not return to him.
Exiting the Ark
13 In Noah’s six hundred and first year, on the first day of the first month, the waters had dried up from the earth. So Noah removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was fully dry.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife, along with your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out all the living creatures that are with you—birds, livestock, and everything that crawls upon the ground—so that they can spread out over the earth and be fruitful and multiply upon it.”
18 So Noah came out, along with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 Every living creature, every creeping thing, and every bird—everything that moves upon the earth—came out of the ark, kind by kind.
Noah Builds an Altar
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD. And taking from every kind of clean animal and clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 When the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, He said in His heart, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from his youth. And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.
22 As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
shall never cease.”
8 a Literally sent out from him or sent out from it
The Covenant of the Rainbow
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on every living creature on the earth, every bird of the air, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are delivered into your hand. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you; just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you all things. 4 But you must not eat meat with its lifeblood still in it. 5 And surely I will require the life of any man or beast by whose hand your lifeblood is shed. I will demand an accounting from anyone who takes the life of his fellow man:
6 Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man his blood will be shed;
for in His own image
God has made mankind.
7 But as for you,
be fruitful and multiply;
spread out across the earth
and multiply upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I now establish My covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth—every living thing that came out of the ark. 11 And I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
14 Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 And whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of every kind that is on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and every creature on the earth.”
Noah’s Shame and Canaan’s Curse
20 Now Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded a to plant a vineyard. 21 But when he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside.
23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it across their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.
“Cursed be Canaan!
A servant of servants
shall he be to his brothers.”
Shem’s Blessing and Noah’s Death
26 He also declared:
“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the servant of Shem.
may he dwell in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be his servant.”
20 a Or was the first
27 b Japheth sounds like the Hebrew for expand .
The Table of Nations
(1 Chronicles 1:4–27)
1 This is the account of Noah’s sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who also had sons after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth:
3 The sons of Gomer:
Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And the sons of Javan:
6 The sons of Ham:
7 The sons of Cush:
Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, b Raamah, and Sabteca.
And the sons of Raamah:
Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who began to be a mighty one c on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before d the LORD; so it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10 His kingdom began in Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. e 11 From that land he went forth into Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and the great city of Calah.
15 And Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, g and of the Hittites, 16 the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
Later the Canaanite clans were scattered, 19 and the borders of Canaan extended from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham according to their clans, languages, lands, and nations.
22 The sons of Shem:
23 The sons of Aram:
Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. i
26 And Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. 30 Their territory extended from Mesha to Sephar, in the eastern hill country.
31 These are the sons of Shem, according to their clans, languages, lands, and nations.
32 All these are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their generations and nations. From these the nations of the earth spread out after the flood.
4 a SP and some MT manuscripts (see also LXX and 1 Chronicles 1:7);most MT manuscripts Dodanites
7 b Sabtah is a variant of Sabta ; see 1 Chronicles 1:9.
8 c Or who established himself as a mighty warrior or who became the first fearless leader
9 d Or in defiance of ; twice in this verse
10 e That is, Babylonia
14 f Some translators adjust the Hebrew word order to the Casluhites, and the Caphtorites (from whom the Philistines came) ; see also Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7.
15 g Or of the Sidonians, the foremost
21 h Or Shem, whose older brother was Japheth
23 i Hebrew; LXX and 1 Chronicles 1:17 Meshech
24 j Hebrew; LXX (see also Luke 3:35–36) And Arphaxad was the father of Cainan, and Cainan was the father of Shelah,
25 k Peleg means division .
The Tower of Babel
(Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 2:1–13)
3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” So they used brick instead of stone, and tar instead of mortar.
4 “Come,” they said, “let us build for ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens, that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of all the earth.”
5 Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men were building. 6 And the LORD said, “If they have begun to do this as one people speaking the same language, then nothing they devise will be beyond them. 7 Come, let Us go down and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over the face of all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it is called Babel, c for there the LORD confused the language of the whole world, and from that place the LORD scattered them over the face of all the earth.
Genealogy from Shem to Abram
(1 Chronicles 1:17–27)
10 This is the account of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he had become the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
26 When Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 During his father Terah’s lifetime, Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, who was the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no children.
31 And Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai the wife of Abram, and they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan. But when they arrived in Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
2 a Or from the east or in the east
2 b That is, Babylonia
9 c Or Babylon ; the Hebrew word for Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused .
13 d Hebrew; LXX (see also Luke 3:35–36) 12When Arphaxad was 135 years old, he became the father of Cainan. 13And after he had become the father of Cainan, Arphaxad lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters, and then he died. When Cainan had lived 130 years, he became the father of Shelah. And after he had become the father of Shelah, Cainan lived 330 years and had other sons and daughters. Note that LXX also adds 100 years to the ages of Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, and Nahor in this genealogy.
The Call of Abram
(Genesis 26:1–5; Acts 7:1–8)
2 I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
3 I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you;
and all the families of the earth
will be blessed through you. b”
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and people they had acquired in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan.
8 From there Abram moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to the LORD, and he called on the name of the LORD.
9 And Abram journeyed on toward the Negev.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know that you are a beautiful woman, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake, and on account of you my life will be spared.”
14 So when Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw Sarai, they commended her to him, and she was taken into the palace of Pharaoh. 16 He treated Abram well on her account, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.
17 The LORD, however, afflicted Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and asked, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!”
20 Then Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning Abram, and they sent him away with his wife and all his possessions.
Abram and Lot Part Ways
3 From the Negev he journeyed from place to place toward Bethel, until he came to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been pitched, 4 to the site where he had built the altar. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
5 Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land was unable to support both of them while they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they were unable to coexist. 7 And there was discord between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were also living in the land.
8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no contention between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen. After all, we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Now separate yourself from me. If you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
Lot Proceeds toward Sodom
10 And Lot looked out and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan, all the way to Zoar, was well watered like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the whole plain of the Jordan for himself and set out toward the east. And Abram and Lot parted company.
God Renews the Promise to Abram
14 After Lot had departed, the LORD said to Abram, “Now lift up your eyes from the place where you are, and look to the north and south and east and west, 15 for all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring forever. a
16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up and walk around the land, through its length and breadth, for I will give it to you.”
The War of the Kings
1 In those days Amraphel king of Shinar, a Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim 2 went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
5 In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the area of Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is near the desert. 7 Then they turned back to invade En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and arrayed themselves for battle in the Valley of Siddim c 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five.
Abram Rescues Lot
10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some men fell into the pits, but the survivors fled to the hill country.
11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and they went on their way. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since Lot was living in Sodom.
13 Then an escapee came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the Oaks d of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshcol and Aner, all of whom were bound by treaty e to Abram. 14 And when Abram heard that his relative had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men born in his household, and they set out in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 During the night, Abram divided his forces and routed Chedorlaomer’s army, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He retrieved all the goods, as well as his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the rest of the people.
Melchizedek Blesses Abram
(Psalm 110:1–7; Hebrews 7:1–10)
17 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth,
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people, but take the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not accept even a thread, or a strap of a sandal, or anything that belongs to you, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share for the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. They may take their portion.”
1 a That is, Babylonia; also in verse 9
3 b That is, the Dead Sea
8 c That is, the Valley of the Dead Sea
13 d Or Terebinths or Great Trees
13 e Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant .
18 f Hebrew El-Elyon ; also in verses 19, 20, and 22; cited in Hebrews 7:1
God’s Covenant with Abram
(Romans 4:1–12; Hebrews 11:8–19)
1 After these events, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram replied, “O Lord GOD, what can You give me, since I remain childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram continued, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to Abram, saying, “This one will not be your heir, but one who comes from your own body will be your heir.” 5 And the LORD took him outside and said, “Now look to the heavens and count the stars, if you are able.” Then He told him, “So shall your offspring be.” a
7 The LORD also told him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
God Confirms His Promise
(Numbers 34:1–15; Romans 4:13–25)
8 But Abram replied, “Lord GOD, how can I know that I will possess it?”
9 And the LORD said to him, “Bring Me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a turtledove and a young pigeon.”
10 So Abram brought all these to Him, split each of them down the middle, and laid the halves opposite each other. The birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 And the birds of prey descended on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and suddenly great terror and darkness overwhelmed him.
13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will judge the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will depart with many possessions. c 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a ripe old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the carcasses. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land—from the river of Egypt to the great River Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
Hagar and Ishmael
1 Now Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children, but she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go to my maidservant;perhaps I can build a family by her.”
And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 So after he had lived in Canaan for ten years, his wife Sarai took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife. 4 And he slept with Hagar, and she conceived. But when Hagar realized that she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. a
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be upon you! I delivered my servant into your arms, and ever since she saw that she was pregnant, she has treated me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me.”
6 “Here,” said Abram, “your servant is in your hands. Do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she fled from her.
7 Now the angel b of the LORD found Hagar by a spring of water in the desert—the spring along the road to Shur. 8 “Hagar, servant of Sarai,” he said, “where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I am running away from my mistress Sarai,” she replied.
9 So the angel of the LORD told her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority.” 10 Then the angel added, “I will greatly multiply your offspring so that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the LORD proceeded:
“Behold, you have conceived and will bear a son.
And you shall name him Ishmael, c
for the LORD has heard your cry of affliction.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man,
and his hand will be against everyone,
and everyone’s hand against him;
he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
13 So Hagar gave this name to the LORD who had spoken to her: “You are the God who sees me, d” for she said, “Here I have seen the One who sees me!” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi. e It is located between Kadesh and Bered.
4 a Or her mistress became despised in her sight
7 b Or Angel ; also in verses 9, 10, and 11; corresponding pronouns may also be capitalized.
11 c Ishmael means God hears .
13 d Hebrew El-Roi
14 e Beer-lahai-roi means well of the Living One who sees me .
Abraham to Father Many Nations
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty. a Walk before Me and be blameless. 2 I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”
3 Then Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram, b but your name will be Abraham, c for I have made you a father of many nations. d
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you.
7 I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
8 And to you and your descendants I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan—as an eternal possession; and I will be their God.”
The Covenant of Circumcision
9 God also said to Abraham, “You must keep My covenant—you and your descendants in the generations after you. 10 This is My covenant with you and your descendants after you, which you are to keep: Every male among you must be circumcised. 11 You are to circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and this will be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12 Generation after generation, every male must be circumcised when he is eight days old, including those born in your household and those purchased from a foreigner—even those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether they are born in your household or purchased, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh will be an everlasting covenant.
14 But if any male is not circumcised, he will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai, for her name is to be Sarah. e 16 And I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will descend from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live under Your blessing!”
19 But God replied, “Your wife Sarah will indeed bear you a son, and you are to name him Isaac. f I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He will become the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.”
22 When He had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or purchased with his money—every male among the members of Abraham’s household—and he circumcised them, just as God had told him.
24 So Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27 And all the men of Abraham’s household—both servants born in his household and those purchased from foreigners—were circumcised with him.
1 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
5 b Abram means exalted father .
5 c Abraham means father of many .
5 d Cited in Romans 4:17
15 e Both Sarai and Sarah mean princess ; the change in spelling may reflect the difference in dialect between Ur and Canaan.
19 f Isaac means he laughs .
The Three Visitors
1 Then the LORD appeared to Abraham by the Oaks a of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. 2 And Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 “My lord,” said Abraham, “if I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will bring a bit of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. After that, you may continue on your way.”
“Yes,” they replied, “you may do as you have said.”
7 Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd, selected a tender and choice calf, and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then Abraham brought curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and he set them before the men and stood by them under the tree as they ate.
Sarah Laughs at the Promise
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked.
“There, in the tent,” he replied.
10 Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
Now Sarah was behind him, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11 And Abraham and Sarah were already old and well along in years; Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 So she laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 And the LORD asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Can I really bear a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you—in about a year—and Sarah will have a son.” c
15 But Sarah was afraid, so she denied it and said, “I did not laugh.”
“No,” replied the LORD, “but you did laugh.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked out over Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them off.
17 And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has promised.”
20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous, 21 I will go down to see if their actions fully justify the outcry that has reached Me. If not, I will find out.”
22 And the two men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
23 Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous ones in the city? Will You really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous ones who are there? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”
26 So the LORD replied, “If I find fifty righteous ones within the city of Sodom, on their account I will spare the whole place.”
27 Then Abraham answered, “Now that I have ventured to speak to the Lord—though I am but dust and ashes— 28 suppose the fifty righteous ones lack five. Will You destroy the whole city for the lack of five?”
He replied, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again Abraham spoke to the LORD, “Suppose forty are found there?”
He answered, “On account of the forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”
He replied, “If I find thirty there, I will not do it.”
31 And Abraham said, “Now that I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose twenty are found there?”
He answered, “On account of the twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Finally, Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak once more. Suppose ten are found there?”
And He answered, “On account of the ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned home.
Lot Welcomes the Angels
1 Now the two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them, bowed facedown, 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside into the house of your servant; wash your feet and spend the night. Then you can rise early and go on your way.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
3 But Lot insisted so strongly that they followed him into his house. He prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot, saying, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have relations with them!”
6 Lot went outside to meet them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he pleaded, “don’t do such a wicked thing! 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them to you, and you can do to them as you please. But do not do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of the way!” they replied. And they declared, “This one came here as a foreigner, and he is already acting like a judge! Now we will treat you worse than them.” And they pressed in on Lot and moved in to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out, pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men at the entrance, young and old, with blindness, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the door.
Lot Flees to Zoar
12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—a son-in-law, your sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are about to destroy this place. For the outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that He has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to the sons-in-law who were pledged in marriage to his daughters. “Get up,” he said. “Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 At daybreak the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But when Lot hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters. And they led them safely out of the city, because of the LORD’s compassion for them.
17 As soon as the men had brought them out, one of them said, “Run for your lives! Do not look back, and do not stop anywhere on the plain! Flee to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot replied, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has indeed found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness by sparing my life. But I cannot run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20 Look, there is a town nearby where I can flee, and it is a small place. Please let me flee there—is it not a small place? Then my life will be saved.”
21 “Very well,” he answered, “I will grant this request as well, and will not demolish the town you indicate. 22 Hurry! Run there quickly, for I cannot do anything until you reach it.” That is why the town was called Zoar. a
23 And by the time the sun had risen over the land, Lot had reached Zoar.
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
24 Then the LORD rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus He destroyed these cities and the entire plain, including all the inhabitants of the cities and everything that grew on the ground.
26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning, Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw the smoke rising from the land like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham, and He brought Lot out of the catastrophe that destroyed the cities where he had lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains—for he was afraid to stay in Zoar—where they lived in a cave.
31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us, as is the custom over all the earth. 32 Come, let us get our father drunk with wine so we can sleep with him and preserve his line.”
33 So that night they got their father drunk with wine, and the firstborn went in and slept with her father; he was not aware when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Look, I slept with my father last night. Let us get him drunk with wine again tonight so you can go in and sleep with him and we can preserve our father’s line.”
35 So again that night they got their father drunk with wine, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him; he was not aware when she lay down or when she got up.
36 Thus both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab. b He is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son, and she named him Ben-ammi. c He is the father of the Ammonites of today.
22 a Zoar means small .
37 b Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from my father .
38 c Ben-ammi means son of my people .
Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech
1 Now Abraham journeyed from there to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was staying in Gerar, 2 Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
3 One night, however, God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he replied, “Lord, would You destroy a nation even though it is innocent? 5 Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.”
6 Then God said to Abimelech in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against Me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet; he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, be aware that you will surely die—you and all who belong to you.”
8 Early the next morning Abimelech got up and summoned all his servants; and when he described to them all that had happened, the men were terrified.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and asked, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such tremendous guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done.” 10 Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What prompted you to do such a thing?”
11 Abraham replied, “I thought to myself, ‘Surely there is no fear of God in this place. They will kill me on account of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father—though not the daughter of my mother—and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me journey from my father’s house, I said to Sarah, ‘This is how you can show your loyalty to me:Wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”
14 So Abimelech brought sheep and cattle, menservants and maidservants, and he gave them to Abraham and restored his wife Sarah to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you please.” 16 And he said to Sarah, “See, I am giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. a It is your vindication before all who are with you; you are completely cleared.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maidservants, so that they could again bear children— 18 for on account of Abraham’s wife Sarah, the LORD had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household.
16 a Or a thousand shekels of silver ; that is, approximately 25.1 pounds or 11.4 kilograms of silver
The Birth of Isaac
3 And Abraham gave the name Isaac a to the son Sarah bore to him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Then Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears of this will laugh with me.” 7 She added, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 So the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned.
Sarah Turns against Hagar
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking her son, b 10 and she said to Abraham, “Expel the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac!” c
11 Now this matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son Ishmael. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to everything that Sarah tells you, for through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned. d 13 But I will also make a nation of the slave woman’s son, because he is your offspring.”
14 Early in the morning, Abraham got up, took bread and a skin of water, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her away with the boy. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I cannot bear to watch the boy die!” And as she sat nearby, she lifted up her voice and wept. e
17 Then God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “What is wrong, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he lies. 18 Get up, lift up the boy, and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up and settled in the wilderness and became a great archer. 21 And while he was dwelling in the Wilderness of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
The Covenant at Beersheba
22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now, therefore, swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or descendants. Show to me and to the country in which you reside the same kindness that I have shown to you.”
24 And Abraham replied, “I swear it.”
25 But when Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized, 26 Abimelech replied, “I do not know who has done this. You did not tell me, so I have not heard about it until today.”
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28 Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelech asked him, “Why have you set apart these seven ewe lambs?”
30 He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from my hand as my witness that I dug this well.” 31 So that place was called Beersheba, f because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32 After they had made the covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army got up and returned to the land of the Philistines.
3 a Isaac means he laughs .
9 b LXX and Vulgate; Hebrew lacks her son
10 c Cited in Galatians 4:30
12 d Cited in Romans 9:7 and Hebrews 11:18
16 e Hebrew; LXX the child lifted up his voice and wept
31 f Beersheba means well of seven or well of the oath .
33 g Hebrew El-Olam
The Offering of Isaac
1 Some time later God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
2 “Take your son,” God said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
3 So Abraham got up early the next morning, saddled his donkey, and took along two of his servants and his son Isaac. He split the wood for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had designated.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told his servants. “The boy and I will go over there to worship, and then we will return to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac. He himself carried the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together.
7 Then Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!”
“Here I am, my son,” he replied.
“The fire and the wood are here,” said Isaac, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place God had designated, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar, atop the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
The LORD Provides the Sacrifice
“Here I am,” he replied.
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram c in a thicket, caught by its horns. So he went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 And Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. d So to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16 saying, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will multiply your descendants e like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies. 18 And through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, f because you have obeyed My voice.”
19 Abraham went back to his servants, and they got up and set out together for Beersheba. And Abraham settled in Beersheba.
The Sons of Nahor
20 Some time later, Abraham was told, “Milcah has also borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.”
11 a Or Angel ; also in verses 12 and 15
12 b Or from Me
13 c Most MT manuscripts; other Hebrew manuscripts, SP, LXX, and Syriac saw one ram
14 d Hebrew YHWH Yireh
17 e Cited in Hebrews 6:14
18 f Cited in Acts 3:25
The Death and Burial of Sarah
7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8 “If you are willing for me to bury my dead,” he said to them, “listen to me, and approach Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 to sell me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me in your presence for full price, so that I may have a burial site.”
10 Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth. So in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city, Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham, 11 “No, my lord. Listen to me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”
12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and said to Ephron in their presence, “If you will please listen to me, I will pay you the price of the field. Accept it from me, so that I may bury my dead there.”
16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the standard of the merchants.
17 So Ephron’s field at Machpelah near Mamre, the cave that was in it, and all the trees within the boundaries of the field were deeded over 18 to Abraham’s possession in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field at Machpelah near Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and its cave were deeded by the Hittites to Abraham as a burial site.
3 a Or sons of Heth ; also in verses 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, and 20
15 b 400 shekels is approximately 10.1 pounds or 4.6 kilograms of silver; also in verse 16.
A Wife for Isaac
1 By now Abraham was old and well along in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 So Abraham instructed the chief servant of his household, who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will have you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am dwelling, 4 but will go to my country and my kindred to take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6 Abraham replied, “Make sure that you do not take my son back there. 7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me from my father’s house and my native land, who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you so that you can take a wife for my son from there. 8 And if the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”
9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all manner of good things from his master in hand. And he set out for Nahor’s hometown in Aram-naharaim. a 11 As evening approached, he made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town at the time when the women went out to draw water.
12 “O LORD, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “please grant me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Here I am, standing beside the spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 Now may it happen that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who responds, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels as well’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. By this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
Rebekah Is Chosen
15 Before the servant had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 Now the girl was very beautiful, a virgin who had not had relations with any man. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up again.
17 So the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jar.”
18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and she quickly lowered her jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 And she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran back to the well to draw water, until she had drawn water for all his camels.
21 Meanwhile, the man watched her silently to see whether or not the LORD had made his journey a success.
22 And after the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring weighing a beka, b and two gold bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels. c 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, 27 saying, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28 The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he rushed out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and heard Rebekah’s words, “The man said this to me,” he went and found the man standing by the camels near the spring.
31 “Come, you who are blessed by the LORD,” said Laban. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were brought to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of his companions.
33 Then a meal was set before the man, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I came to say.”
So Laban said, “Please speak.”
34 “I am Abraham’s servant,” he replied. 35 “The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and my master has given him everything he owns.
37 My master made me swear an oath and said, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I dwell, 38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my kindred to take a wife for my son.’
39 Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’
40 And he told me, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you may take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father’s house. 41 And when you go to my kindred, if they refuse to give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’
42 So when I came to the spring today, I prayed: O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if only You would make my journey a success! 43 Here I am, standing beside this spring. Now if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ 44 and she replies, ‘Drink, and I will draw water for your camels as well,’ may she be the woman the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.
45 And before I had finished praying in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46 She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels as well.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the LORD; and I blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who led me on the right road to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; but if not, let me know, so that I may go elsewhere.”
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter. 51 Rebekah is here before you. Take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, just as the LORD has decreed.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD. 53 Then he brought out jewels of silver and gold, and articles of clothing, and he gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54 Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”
55 But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl remain with us ten days or so. After that, she may go.”
56 But he replied, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has made my journey a success. Send me on my way so that I may go to my master.”
57 So they said, “We will call the girl and ask her opinion.”
58 They called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she replied.
“Our sister, may you become the mother
of thousands upon thousands.
May your offspring possess
the gates of their enemies.”
61 Then Rebekah and her servant girls got ready, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
“It is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 Then the servant told Isaac all that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah as his wife. And Isaac loved her and was comforted after his mother’s death.
10 a That is, Mesopotamia; Aram-naharaim means Aram of the two rivers , likely the region between the Euphrates and Balih Rivers in northwestern Mesopotamia.
22 b A beka is half a shekel, or approximately 0.2 ounces or 5.7 grams.
22 c 10 shekels is approximately 4 ounces or 114 grams.
Abraham and Keturah
(1 Chronicles 1:32–33)
3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were the Asshurites, the Letushites, and the Leummites.
4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Keturah.
The Death of Abraham
9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. 10 This was the field that Abraham had bought from the Hittites. Abraham was buried there with his wife Sarah.
11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who lived near Beer-lahai-roi.
The Descendants of Ishmael
(1 Chronicles 1:28–31)
12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
16 These were the sons of Ishmael, and these were their names by their villages and encampments—twelve princes of their tribes. 17 Ishmael lived a total of 137 years. Then he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.
Jacob and Esau
(Malachi 1:1–5; Romans 9:6–29)
19 This is the account of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram b and the sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Later, Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD heard his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.” c
24 When her time came to give birth, there were indeed twins in her womb. 25 The first one came out red, covered with hair like a fur coat; so they named him Esau. d 26 After this, his brother came out grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. e And Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Because Isaac had a taste for wild game, he loved Esau; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Esau Sells His Birthright
29 One day, while Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the field and was famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am famished.” (That is why he was also called Edom. f)
31 “First sell me your birthright,” Jacob replied.
32 “Look,” said Esau, “I am about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?”
33 “Swear to me first,” Jacob said.
So Esau swore to Jacob and sold him the birthright. 34 Then Jacob gave some bread and lentil stew to Esau, who ate and drank and then got up and went away. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
18 a Or Assyria
20 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
23 c Cited in Romans 9:12
25 d Esau sounds like a Hebrew term that means hairy .
26 e Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
30 f Edom means red .
God’s Promise to Isaac
1 Now there was another famine in the land, subsequent to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar.
2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Settle in the land where I tell you. 3 Stay in this land as a foreigner, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
Isaac Deceives Abimelech
6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 But when the men of that place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister.” For he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” since he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is so beautiful.”
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is really your wife! How could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac replied, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”
10 “What is this you have done to us?” asked Abimelech. “One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever harms this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12 Now Isaac sowed seed in the land, and that very year he reaped a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, 13 and he became richer and richer, until he was exceedingly wealthy. 14 He owned so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Depart from us, for you are much too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac left that place and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. And he gave these wells the same names his father had given them.
19 Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of fresh water a there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, b because they contended with him.
23 From there Isaac went up to Beersheba, 24 and that night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25 So Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there. His servants also dug a well there.
Isaac’s Covenant with Abimelech
26 Later, Abimelech came to Isaac from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army.
27 “Why have you come to me?” Isaac asked them. “You hated me and sent me away.”
28 “We can plainly see that the LORD has been with you,” they replied. “We recommend that there should now be an oath between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you 29 that you will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have done only good to you, sending you on your way in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 So Isaac prepared a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 And they got up early the next morning and swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.
32 On that same day, Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We have found water!” they told him. 33 So he called it Shibah, e and to this day the name of the city is Beersheba. f
19 a Or flowing water or living water
20 b Esek means contention .
21 c Sitnah means enmity or hostility .
22 d Rehoboth means broad places or open spaces .
33 e Shibah can mean oath or seven .
33 f Beersheba means well of seven or well of the oath .
Isaac Blesses Jacob
1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.”
“Here I am,” Esau replied.
2 “Look,” said Isaac, “I am now old, and I do not know the day of my death. 3 Take your weapons—your quiver and bow—and go out into the field to hunt some game for me. 4 Then prepare a tasty dish that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac told his son Esau. So when Esau went into the field to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Behold, I overheard your father saying to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me a tasty dish to eat, so that I may bless you in the presence of the LORD before I die.’
8 Now, my son, listen to my voice and do exactly as I tell you. 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so that I can make them into a tasty dish for your father—the kind he loves. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.”
11 Jacob answered his mother Rebekah, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am smooth-skinned. 12 What if my father touches me? Then I would be revealed to him as a deceiver, and I would bring upon myself a curse rather than a blessing.”
13 His mother replied, “Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey my voice and go get them for me.”
14 So Jacob went and got two goats and brought them to his mother, who made the tasty food his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took the finest clothes in the house that belonged to her older son Esau, and she put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed her son Jacob the tasty food and bread she had made.
18 So Jacob went to his father and said, “My father.”
“Here I am!” he answered. “Which one are you, my son?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may bless me.”
20 But Isaac asked his son, “How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?”
“Because the LORD your God brought it to me,” he replied.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau, or not?”
22 So Jacob came close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 Isaac did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him.
24 Again he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
And he replied, “I am.”
25 “Serve me,” said Isaac, “and let me eat some of my son’s game, so that I may bless you.”
Jacob brought it to him, and he ate; then he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come near and kiss me, my son.”
27 So he came near and kissed him. When Isaac smelled his clothing, he blessed him and said:
“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give to you the dew of heaven
and the richness of the earth—
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
May you be the master of your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed,
and those who bless you be blessed.”
Esau’s Lost Hope
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing him and Jacob had left his father’s presence, his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 31 He too made some tasty food, brought it to his father, and said to him, “My father, sit up and eat of your son’s game, so that you may bless me.”
32 But his father Isaac replied, “Who are you?”
“I am Esau, your firstborn son,” he answered.
33 Isaac began to tremble violently and said, “Who was it, then, who hunted the game and brought it to me? Before you came in, I ate it all and blessed him—and indeed, he will be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me too, O my father!”
35 But Isaac replied, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
37 But Isaac answered Esau: “Look, I have made him your master and given him all his relatives as servants; I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, O my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
39 His father Isaac answered him:
“Behold, your dwelling place shall be
away from the richness of the land,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You shall live by the sword
and serve your brother.
But when you rebel,
you will tear his yoke from your neck.”
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand;then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 When the words of her older son Esau were relayed to Rebekah, she sent for her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43 So now, my son, obey my voice and flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Stay with him for a while, until your brother’s fury subsides— 45 until your brother’s rage against you wanes and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
36 a Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
46 b Or daughters of Heth
1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. “Do not take a wife from the Canaanite women,” he commanded. 2 “Go at once to Paddan-aram, a to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel, and take a wife from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty b bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, so that you may become a company of peoples. 4 And may He give the blessing of Abraham to you and your descendants, so that you may possess the land where you dwell as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
5 So Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Esau Marries Mahalath
6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to take a wife there, commanding him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and gone to Paddan-aram.
8 And seeing that his father Isaac disapproved of the Canaanite women, 9 Esau went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, in addition to the wives he already had.
10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. 11 On reaching a certain place, he spent the night there because the sun had set. And taking one of the stones from that place, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
12 And Jacob had a dream about a ladder that rested on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down the ladder. 13 And there at the top c the LORD was standing and saying, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you now lie. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and east and north and south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 Look, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob woke up, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was unaware of it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven!”
The Stone of Bethel
18 Early the next morning, Jacob took the stone that he had placed under his head, and he set it up as a pillar. He poured oil on top of it, 19 and he called that place Bethel, d though previously the city had been named Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this journey, and if He will provide me with food to eat and clothes to wear, 21 so that I may return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God. 22 And this stone I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give You a tenth.”
2 a That is, northwest Mesopotamia; also in verses 5, 6, and 7
3 b Hebrew El-Shaddai
13 c Or there beside him
19 d Bethel means house of God .
Jacob Meets Rachel
1 Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2 He looked and saw a well in the field, and near it lay three flocks of sheep, because the sheep were watered from this well. And a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 3 When all the flocks had been gathered there, the shepherds would roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
4 “My brothers,” Jacob asked the shepherds, “where are you from?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5 “Do you know Laban the grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked.
“We know him,” they replied.
6 “Is he well?” Jacob inquired.
“Yes,” they answered, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with his sheep.”
7 “Look,” said Jacob, “it is still broad daylight; it is not yet time to gather the livestock. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”
8 But they replied, “We cannot, until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 As soon as Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, with Laban’s sheep, he went up and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 He told Rachel that he was Rebekah’s son, a relative of her father, and she ran and told her father.
13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, where Jacob told him all that had happened.
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
14 Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, a but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Since Jacob loved Rachel, he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
21 Finally Jacob said to Laban, “Grant me my wife, for my time is complete, and I want to sleep with her.”
22 So Laban invited all the men of that place and prepared a feast. 23 But when evening came, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob said to Laban. “Wasn’t it for Rachel that I served you? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. 27 Finish this week’s celebration, and we will give you the younger one in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week’s celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
30 Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah
31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben, b for she said, “The LORD has seen my affliction. Surely my husband will love me now.”
17 a Or had delicate eyes
32 b Reuben means Look, a son and also sounds like the Hebrew for He has seen my misery .
33 c Simeon probably means one who hears .
34 d Levi sounds like the Hebrew for being attached to or feeling affection for .
35 e Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise .
Dan and Naphtali
1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing any children for Jacob, she envied her sister. “Give me children, or I will die!” she said to Jacob.
2 Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld children from you?”
4 So Rachel gave Jacob her servant Bilhah as a wife, and he slept with her, 5 and Bilhah conceived and bore him a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; He has heard my plea and given me a son.” So she named him Dan. b
Gad and Asher
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10 And Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” d So she named him Gad. e
14 Now during the wheat harvest, Reuben went out and found some mandrakes in the field. When he brought them to his mother, Rachel begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But Leah replied, “Is it not enough that you have taken away my husband? Now you want to take my son’s mandrakes as well?”
“Very well,” said Rachel, “he may sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.
Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah
19 Again Leah conceived and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 “God has given me a good gift,” she said. “This time my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” And she named him Zebulun. h
21 After that, Leah gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb, 23 and she conceived and gave birth to a son. “God has taken away my shame,” she said. 24 She named him Joseph, i and said, “May the LORD add to me another son.”
25 Now after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can return to my homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children for whom I have served you, that I may go on my way. You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27 But Laban replied, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.” 28 And he added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29 Then Jacob answered, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock have thrived under my care. 30 Indeed, you had very little before my arrival, but now your wealth has increased many times over. The LORD has blessed you wherever I set foot. But now, when may I also provide for my own household?”
31 “What can I give you?” Laban asked.
“You do not need to give me anything,” Jacob replied. “If you do this one thing for me, I will keep on shepherding and keeping your flocks. 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. These will be my wages. 33 So my honesty will testify for me when you come to check on my wages in the future. If I have any goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not dark-colored, they will be considered stolen.”
34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35 That very day Laban removed all the streaked or spotted male goats and every speckled or spotted female goat—every one that had any white on it—and every dark-colored lamb, and he placed them under the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37 Jacob, however, took fresh branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled the bark, exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he set the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of the flocks coming in to drink. So when the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob set apart the young, but made the rest face the streaked dark-colored sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and did not put them with Laban’s animals.
41 Whenever the stronger females of the flock were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs, in full view of the animals, so that they would breed in front of the branches. 42 But if the animals were weak, he did not set out the branches. So the weaker animals went to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob.
43 Thus Jacob became exceedingly prosperous. He owned large flocks, maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.
3 a Literally bear children on my knees
6 b Dan means He has judged or He has vindicated .
8 c Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling .
11 d Alternate MT reading (see also LXX);the other alternate reads “A troop is coming!”
11 e Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune , or alternately for band of raiders .
13 f Asher means happy .
18 g Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages or reward .
20 h Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor .
24 i Joseph means may He add .
Jacob Flees from Laban
1 Now Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken away all that belonged to our father and built all this wealth at our father’s expense.” 2 And Jacob saw from the countenance of Laban that his attitude toward him had changed.
3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”
4 So Jacob sent word and called Rachel and Leah to the field where his flocks were, 5 and he told them, “I can see from your father’s countenance that his attitude toward me has changed;but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7 And although he has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The speckled will be your wages,’ then the whole flock bore speckled offspring. If he said, ‘The streaked will be your wages,’ then the whole flock bore streaked offspring. 9 Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me.
And I replied, ‘Here I am.’
12 ‘Look up,’ he said, ‘and see that all the males that are mating with the flock are streaked, spotted, or speckled; for I have seen all that Laban has done to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and made a solemn vow to Me. Now get up and leave this land at once, and return to your native land.’ ”
14 And Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we have any portion or inheritance left in our father’s house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as outsiders? Not only has he sold us, but he has certainly squandered what was paid for us. 16 Surely all the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So do whatever God has told you.”
17 Then Jacob got up and put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock before him, along with all the possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram, b to go to his father Isaac in the land in Canaan.
19 Now while Laban was out shearing his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived c Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was running away. 21 So he fled with all his possessions, crossed the Euphrates, d and headed for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22 On the third day Laban was informed that Jacob had fled. 23 So he took his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days, and overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But that night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and warned him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
25 Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there as well. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have deceived me and carried off my daughters like captives of war! 27 Why did you run away secretly and deceive me, without even telling me? I would have sent you away with joy and singing, with tambourines and harps. 28 But you did not even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. Now you have done a foolish thing.
29 I have power to do you great harm, but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you long for your father’s house. But why have you stolen my gods?”
31 “I was afraid,” Jacob answered, “for I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 If you find your gods with anyone here, he shall not live! In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself if anything is yours, and take it back.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols.
33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, then Leah’s tent, and then the tents of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken Laban’s household idols, put them in the saddlebag of her camel, and was sitting on them. And Laban searched everything in the tent but found nothing.
35 Rachel said to her father, “Sir, do not be angry that I cannot stand up before you;for I am having my period.” So Laban searched, but could not find the household idols.
36 Then Jacob became incensed and challenged Laban. “What is my crime?” he said. “For what sin of mine have you so hotly pursued me? 37 You have searched all my goods! Have you found anything that belongs to you? Put it here before my brothers and yours, that they may judge between the two of us.
38 I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flock. 39 I did not bring you anything torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or night. 40 As it was, the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes.
41 Thus for twenty years I have served in your household—fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks—and you have changed my wages ten times! 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, surely by now you would have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, and last night He rendered judgment.”
Jacob’s Covenant with Laban
43 But Laban answered Jacob, “These daughters are my daughters, these sons are my sons, and these flocks are my flocks! Everything you see is mine! Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine or the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between you and me.”
45 So Jacob picked out a stone and set it up as a pillar, 46 and he said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and made a mound, and there by the mound they ate. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. e
48 Then Laban declared, “This mound is a witness between you and me this day.”
Therefore the place was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah, f because Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are absent from each other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives, although no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.”
51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is the mound, and here is the pillar I have set up between you and me. 52 This mound is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this mound to harm you, and you will not go past this mound and pillar to harm me. 53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”
So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac.
54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat a meal. And after they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early the next morning, Laban got up and kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them. Then he left to return home.
11 a Or Angel
18 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
20 c Or stole the heart of ; also in verses 26 and 27
21 d Hebrew the River
47 e The Aramaic Jegar-sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean heap of witnesses .
49 f Mizpah means watchtower .
Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them, “You are to say to my master Esau, ‘Your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban and have remained there until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, menservants, and maidservants. I have sent this message to inform my master, so that I may find favor in your sight.’ ”
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you—he and four hundred men with him.”
9 Then Jacob declared, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, the LORD who told me, ‘Go back to your country and to your kindred, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, with only my staff I came across the Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid that he may come and attack me and the mothers and children with me. 12 But You have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to count.’ ”
13 Jacob spent the night there, and from what he had brought with him, he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 15 30 milk camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to his servants in separate herds and told them, “Go on ahead of me, and keep some distance between the herds.”
17 He instructed the one in the lead, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong, where are you going, and whose animals are these before you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift, sent to my lord Esau. And behold, Jacob is behind us.’ ”
19 He also instructed the second, the third, and all those following behind the herds: “When you meet Esau, you are to say the same thing to him. 20 You are also to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I will appease Esau b with the gift that is going before me. After that I can face him, and perhaps he will accept me. c”
21 So Jacob’s gifts went on before him, while he spent the night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven sons, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions.
24 So Jacob was left all alone, and there a man d wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower Jacob, he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip and dislocated it as they wrestled. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 “What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
29 And Jacob requested, “Please tell me your name.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed by Penuel, h and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon which is at the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was struck near that tendon.
2 a Mahanaim means two camps .
20 b Or I will appease his face
20 c Literally perhaps he will lift up my face
24 d Or Man ; here and in verses 25–28; corresponding pronouns may also be capitalized
28 e Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
28 f Israel means he struggles with God .
30 g Peniel means the face of God .
31 h Penuel is a variant of Peniel ; see verse 30.
Jacob Meets Esau
1 Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming toward him with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. 2 He put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3 But Jacob himself went on ahead and bowed to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
4 Esau, however, ran to him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.
5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the maidservants and their children approached and bowed down. 7 Leah and her children also approached and bowed down, and then Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down.
8 “What do you mean by sending this whole company to meet me?” asked Esau.
“To find favor in your sight, my lord,” Jacob answered.
9 “I already have plenty, my brother,” Esau replied. “Keep what belongs to you.”
10 But Jacob insisted, “No, please! If I have found favor in your sight, then receive this gift from my hand. For indeed, I have seen your face, and it is like seeing the face of God, since you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept my gift a that was brought to you, because God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” So Jacob pressed him until he accepted.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way, and I will go ahead of you.”
13 But Jacob replied, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and I must care for sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard for even a day, all the animals will die. 14 Please let my lord go ahead of his servant. I will continue on slowly, at a comfortable pace for the livestock and children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15 “Let me leave some of my people with you,” Esau said.
But Jacob replied, “Why do that? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”
Jacob Settles in Shechem
18 After Jacob had come from Paddan-aram, c he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped just outside the city. 19 And the plot of ground where he pitched his tent, he purchased from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of silver. d 20 There he set up an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. e
11 a Or blessing or treaty of peace
17 b Succoth means booths or shelters or tabernacles ; twice in this verse.
18 c That is, northwest Mesopotamia
19 d Hebrew a hundred kesitahs ; the value or weight of the kesitah is no longer known
20 e El-Elohe-Israel means God is the God of Israel or mighty is the God of Israel .
The Defiling of Dinah
1 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the region, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. 3 And his soul was drawn to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young girl and spoke to her tenderly. 4 So Shechem told his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as a wife.”
5 Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah, but since his sons were with his livestock in the field, he remained silent about it until they returned. 6 Meanwhile, Shechem’s father Hamor came to speak with Jacob. 7 When Jacob’s sons heard what had happened, they returned from the field. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel a by lying with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.
8 But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. 9 Intermarry with us; give us your daughters, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You may settle among us, and the land will be open to you. Live here, move about freely, and acquire your own property.”
11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Grant me this favor, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Demand a high dowry and an expensive gift, and I will give you whatever you ask. Only give me the girl as my wife!”
The Revenge of Dinah’s Brothers
13 But because Shechem had defiled their sister Dinah, Jacob’s sons answered him and his father Hamor deceitfully. 14 “We cannot do such a thing,” they said. “To give our sister to an uncircumcised man would be a disgrace to us. 15 We will consent to this on one condition, that you become circumcised like us—every one of your males. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We will dwell among you and become one people. 17 But if you will not agree to be circumcised, then we will take our sister and go.”
18 Their offer seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most respected of all his father’s household, did not hesitate to fulfill this request, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter.
20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and addressed the men of their city: 21 “These men are at peace with us. Let them live and trade in our land; indeed, it is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters in marriage and give our daughters to them. 22 But only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us and be one people: if all our men are circumcised as they are. 23 Will not their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals become ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell among us.”
24 All the men who went out of the city gate listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male of the city was circumcised.
25 Three days later, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons (Dinah’s brothers Simeon and Levi) took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and slaughtered every male. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with their swords, took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away.
27 Jacob’s other sons came upon the slaughter and looted the city, because their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their flocks and herds and donkeys, and everything else in the city or in the field. 29 They carried off all their possessions and women and children, and they plundered everything in their houses.
30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble upon me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people of this land. We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
31 But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
7 a Or against Israel
Jacob Returns to Bethel
1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”
2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your garments. 3 Then let us arise and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to God, who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
5 As they set out, a terror from God fell over the surrounding cities, so that they did not pursue Jacob’s sons. 6 So Jacob and everyone with him arrived in Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There Jacob built an altar, and he called that place El-bethel, b because it was there that God had revealed Himself to Jacob as he fled from his brother.
9 After Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, e God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Though your name is Jacob, f you will no longer be called Jacob. Instead, your name will be Israel. g” So God named him Israel.
11 And God told him, “I am God Almighty. h Be fruitful and multiply. A nation—even a company of nations—shall come from you, and kings shall descend from you. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”
13 Then God went up from the place where He had spoken with him.
14 So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where God had spoken with him—a stone marker—and he poured out a drink offering on it and anointed it with oil. 15 Jacob called the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. i
Benjamin Born, Rachel Dies
16 Later, they set out from Bethel, and while they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, and her labor was difficult. 17 During her severe labor, the midwife said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you are having another son.”
The Sons of Jacob
(1 Chronicles 2:1–2)
21 Israel again set out and pitched his tent beyond the Tower of Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it.
Jacob had twelve sons:
23 The sons of Leah were Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25 The sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali.
26 And the sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah were Gad and Asher.
These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
The Death of Isaac
27 Jacob returned to his father Isaac at Mamre, near Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.
4 a Or terebinth or great tree
7 b El-bethel means God of Bethel .
8 c Or great tree
8 d Allon-bacuth means oak of weeping .
9 e That is, northwest Mesopotamia; also in verse 26
10 f Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
10 g Israel means he struggles with God .
11 h Hebrew El-Shaddai
15 i Bethel means house of God .
18 j Ben-oni could mean son of my sorrow or son of my strength .
18 k Benjamin means son of my right hand .
The Descendants of Esau
(1 Chronicles 1:35–37)
1 This is the account of Esau (that is, Edom). 2 Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite, 3 and Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. 4 And Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath gave birth to Reuel, 5 and Oholibamah gave birth to Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
6 Later, Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the people of his household, along with his livestock, all his other animals, and all the property he had acquired in Canaan, and he moved to a land far away from his brother Jacob. 7 For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together; the land where they stayed could not support them because of their livestock. 8 So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the area of Mount Seir.
9 This is the account of Esau, the father of the Edomites, in the area of Mount Seir.
10 These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel son of Esau’s wife Basemath.
13 These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. They are the grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
14 These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah (daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon) whom she bore to Esau: Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
15 These are the chiefs among the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, a Gatam, and Amalek. They are the chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom, and they are the grandsons of Adah.
17 These are the sons of Esau’s son Reuel: Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. They are the chiefs descended from Reuel in the land of Edom, and they are the grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
18 These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: Chiefs Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. They are the chiefs descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.
19 All these are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and they were their chiefs.
The Descendants of Seir
(1 Chronicles 1:38–42)
20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who were living in the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. They are the chiefs of the Horites, the descendants of Seir in the land of Edom.
23 These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
24 These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. (This is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness as he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.)
25 These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.
27 These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
28 These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.
The Kings of Edom
(1 Chronicles 1:43–54)
32 Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah.
33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his place.
34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.
35 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his place. And the name of his city was Avith.
36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah reigned in his place.
38 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor reigned in his place.
40 These are the names of Esau’s chiefs, according to their families and regions, by their names: Chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel, and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements in the land they possessed. Esau was the father of the Edomites.
16 a Hebrew; SP (also in verse 11 and 1 Chronicles 1:36) does not include Korah .
22 b Hemam is a variant of Homam ; see 1 Chronicles 1:39.
26 c Hebrew Dishan , a variant of Dishon
31 d Or before an Israelite king reigned over them:
37 e Hebrew the River
39 f Some MT manuscripts, SP, and Syriac (see also 1 Chronicles 1:50); other MT manuscripts Hadar
1 Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had resided, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he was tending the flock with his brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons, because Joseph had been born to him in his old age; so he made him a robe of many colors. a 4 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain in the field, and suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to mine.”
8 “Do you intend to reign over us?” his brothers asked. “Will you actually rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and his statements.
9 Then Joseph had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream that you have had? Will your mother and brothers and I actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept in mind what he had said.
Joseph Sold into Egypt
12 Some time later, Joseph’s brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13 Israel said to him, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flocks at Shechem? Get ready;I am sending you to them.”
“I am ready,” Joseph replied.
14 Then Israel told him, “Go now and see how your brothers and the flocks are faring, and bring word back to me.”
So he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. And when Joseph arrived in Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering in the field and asked, “What are you looking for?”
16 “I am looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Can you please tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 Now Joseph’s brothers saw him in the distance, and before he arrived, they plotted to kill him. 19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20 “Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal has devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams!”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue Joseph from their hands. “Let us not take his life,” he said. 22 “Do not shed his blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this so that he could rescue Joseph from their hands and return him to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the robe of many colors he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.
25 And as they sat down to eat a meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh on their way down to Egypt.
26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And they agreed. 28 So when the Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty shekels of silver b to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
Jacob Mourns Joseph
31 Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32 They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe or not.”
33 His father recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him.
3 a Possibly a robe with long sleeves ; also in verses 23 and 32
28 b 20 shekels is approximately 8 ounces or 228 grams of silver.
36 c Hebrew the Medanites
Judah and Tamar
(1 Chronicles 2:3–4)
1 About that time, Judah left his brothers and settled near a man named Hirah, an Adullamite. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua, and he took her as a wife and slept with her. 3 So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and Judah named him Er. 4 Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan. 5 Then she gave birth to another son and named him Shelah; it was at Chezib that she gave birth to him.
6 Now Judah acquired a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; so the LORD put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. Perform your duty as her brother-in-law and raise up offspring for your brother.”
9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not belong to him; so whenever he would sleep with his brother’s wife, he would spill his seed on the ground so that he would not produce offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the sight of the LORD, so He put Onan to death as well.
11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.
12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah. 13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she removed her widow’s garments, covered her face with a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah. For she saw that although Shelah had grown up, she had not been given to him as a wife.
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”
“What will you give me for sleeping with you?” she inquired.
17 “I will send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah answered.
But she replied, “Only if you leave me something as a pledge until you send it.”
18 “What pledge should I give you?” he asked.
She answered, “Your seal and your cord, and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. 19 Then Tamar got up and departed. And she removed her veil and put on her widow’s garments again.
20 Now when Judah sent his friend Hirah the Adullamite with the young goat to collect the items he had left with the woman, he could not find her. 21 He asked the men of that place, “Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“No shrine prostitute has been here,” they answered.
22 So Hirah returned to Judah and said, “I could not find her, and furthermore, the men of that place said, ‘No shrine prostitute has been here.’ ”
24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself, and now she is pregnant.”
“Bring her out!” Judah replied. “Let her be burned to death!”
25 As she was being brought out, Tamar sent a message to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these items belong.” And she added, “Please examine them. Whose seal and cord and staff are these?”
26 Judah recognized the items and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.
The Birth of Perez and Zerah
27 When the time came for Tamar to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28 And as she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it around his wrist. “This one came out first,” she announced. 29 But when he pulled his hand back and his brother came out, she said, “You have broken out first!” So he was named Perez. b 30 Then his brother came out with the scarlet thread around his wrist, and he was named Zerah. c
23 a Or we will become despised
29 b Perez means breaking out .
30 c Zerah can mean scarlet or brightness .
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
1 Meanwhile, Joseph had been taken down to Egypt, where an Egyptian named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master.
Potiphar put him in charge of his household and entrusted him with everything he owned. 5 From the time that he put Joseph in charge of his household and all he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s household on account of him. The LORD’s blessing was on everything he owned, both in his house and in his field. 6 So Potiphar left all that he owned in Joseph’s care; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after some time his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and said, “Sleep with me.”
8 But he refused. “Look,” he said to his master’s wife, “with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in his house, and he has entrusted everything he owns to my care. 9 No one in this house is greater than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God?”
10 Although Potiphar’s wife spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be near her. 11 One day, however, Joseph went into the house to attend to his work, and not a single household servant was inside. 12 She grabbed Joseph by his cloak and said, “Sleep with me!” But leaving his cloak in her hand, he escaped and ran outside.
Joseph Falsely Imprisoned
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us. He came to me so he could sleep with me, but I screamed as loud as I could. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 So Potiphar’s wife kept Joseph’s cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me, 18 but when I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” he burned with anger. 20 So Joseph’s master took him and had him thrown into the prison where the king’s prisoners were confined.
While Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him and extended kindness to him, granting him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 And the warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care, so that he was responsible for all that was done in the prison. 23 The warden did not concern himself with anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
The Cupbearer and the Baker
1 Some time later, the king’s cupbearer and baker offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard, the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he became their personal attendant.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 both of these men—the Egyptian king’s cupbearer and baker, who were being held in the prison—had a dream on the same night, and each dream had its own meaning.
6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were distraught. 7 So he asked the officials of Pharaoh who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so downcast today?”
8 “We both had dreams,” they replied, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream: “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into his cup, and placed the cup in his hand.”
12 Joseph replied, “This is the interpretation: The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore your position. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when it goes well for you, please remember me and show me kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh, that he might bring me out of this prison. 15 For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing for which they should have put me in this dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: There were three baskets of white bread on my head. 17 In the top basket were all sorts of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
18 Joseph replied, “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. a Then the birds will eat the flesh of your body.”
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he held a feast for all his officials, and in their presence he lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 21 Pharaoh restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But Pharaoh hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had described to them in his interpretation. b
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot all about him.
19 a Or and impale you on a pole ; similarly in verse 22
22 b Literally had interpreted to them
The Dreams of Pharaoh
1 After two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing beside the Nile, 2 when seven cows, sleek and well-fed, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, sickly and thin, came up from the Nile and stood beside the well-fed cows on the bank of the river. 4 And the cows that were sickly and thin devoured the seven sleek, well-fed cows.
Then Pharaoh woke up, 5 but he fell back asleep and dreamed a second time: Seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, came up on one stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted, thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 And the thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven plump, ripe ones. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.
8 In the morning his spirit was troubled, so he summoned all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the captain of the guard. 11 One night both the chief baker and I had dreams, and each dream had its own meaning. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us individually. 13 And it happened to us just as he had interpreted: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.”
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of the dungeon. After he had shaved and changed his clothes, he went in before Pharaoh.
15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16 “I myself cannot do it,” Joseph replied, “but God will give Pharaoh a sound answer.”
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when seven cows, well-fed and sleek, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows—sickly, ugly, and thin—came up. I have never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt! 20 Then the thin, ugly cows devoured the seven well-fed cows that were there first. 21 When they had devoured them, however, no one could tell that they had done so; their appearance was as ugly as it had been before. Then I awoke.
22 In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind. 24 And the thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones.
I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain it to me.”
25 At this, Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads of grain are seven years. The dreams have the same meaning. 27 Moreover, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind—they are seven years of famine.
28 It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will devastate the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, since the famine that follows it will be so severe.
32 Moreover, because the dream was given to Pharaoh in two versions, the matter has been decreed by God, and He will carry it out shortly.
33 Now, therefore, Pharaoh should look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh take action and appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest a of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 Under the authority of Pharaoh, let them collect all the excess food from these good years, that they may come and lay up the grain to be preserved as food in the cities. 36 This food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine to come upon the land of Egypt. Then the country will not perish in the famine.”
Joseph Given Charge of Egypt
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41 Pharaoh also told Joseph, “I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his finger, put it on Joseph’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, with men calling out before him, “Bow the knee!” c So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh declared to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission, no one in all the land of Egypt shall lift his hand or foot.”
The Seven Years of Plenty
46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.
47 During the seven years of abundance, the land brought forth bountifully. 48 During those seven years, Joseph collected all the excess food in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities. In every city he laid up the food from the fields around it. 49 So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance, like the sand of the sea, that he stopped keeping track of it; for it was beyond measure.
50 Before the years of famine arrived, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, f saying, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s household.” 52 And the second son he named Ephraim, g saying, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
The Famine Begins
53 When the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. And although there was famine in every country, there was food throughout the land of Egypt. 55 When extreme hunger came to all the land of Egypt and the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56 When the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened up all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 And every nation came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.
34 a See LXX; MT a fifth from the land
38 b Or the spirit of the gods
43 c That is, “Abrek,” probably an Egyptian word that sounds similar to the Hebrew for kneel
45 d Zaphenath-paneah probably means Revealer of Mysteries or God speaks and lives .
45 e That is, Heliopolis, as in LXX; also in verse 50
51 f Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget .
52 g Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful or twice fruitful .
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
1 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?”
2 “Look,” he added, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
5 So the sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, since the famine had also spread to the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was the ruler of the land; he was the one who sold grain to all its people. So when his brothers arrived, they bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. 7 And when Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them as strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where have you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We are here to buy food.”
12 “No,” he told them. “You have come to see if our land is vulnerable.”
13 But they answered, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”
14 Then Joseph declared, “Just as I said, you are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be confined so that the truth of your words may be tested. If they are untrue, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”
17 So Joseph imprisoned them for three days, 18 and on the third day he said to them, “I fear God. So do this and you will live: 19 If you are honest, leave one of your brothers in custody while the rest of you go and take back grain to relieve the hunger of your households. 20 Then bring your youngest brother to me so that your words can be verified, that you may not die.”
And to this they consented.
21 Then they said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.”
22 And Reuben responded, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you would not listen. Now we must account for his blood!”
23 They did not realize that Joseph understood them, since there was an interpreter between them. 24 And he turned away from them and wept. When he turned back and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and had him bound before their eyes.
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Canaan
25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return each man’s silver a to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out, 26 and they loaded the grain on their donkeys and departed.
27 At the place where they lodged for the night, one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of the sack. 28 “My silver has been returned!” he said to his brothers. “It is here in my sack.”
Their hearts sank, and trembling, they turned to one another and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 When they reached their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him all that had happened to them: 30 “The man who is lord of the land spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying on the country.
33 Then the man who is lord of the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest: Leave one brother with me, take food to relieve the hunger of your households, and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.’ ”
35 As they began emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his bag of silver! And when they and their father saw the bags of silver, they were dismayed.
36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my sons. Joseph is gone and Simeon is no more. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is going against me!”
37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I fail to bring him back to you. Put him in my care, and I will return him.”
38 But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If any harm comes to him on your journey, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”
25 a Or money ; here and throughout chapters 42–44
The Return to Egypt with Benjamin
3 But Judah replied, “The man solemnly warned us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go; for the man told us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ ”
6 “Why did you bring this trouble upon me?” Israel asked. “Why did you tell the man you had another brother?”
7 They replied, “The man questioned us in detail about ourselves and our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8 And Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and we will go at once, so that we may live and not die—neither we, nor you, nor our children. 9 I will guarantee his safety. You may hold me personally responsible. If I do not bring him back and set him before you, then may I bear the guilt before you all my life. 10 If we had not delayed, we could have come and gone twice by now.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and carry them down as a gift for the man—a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 12 Take double the silver with you so that you may return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother as well, and return to the man at once. 14 May God Almighty a grant you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15 So the men took these gifts, along with double the amount of silver, and Benjamin as well. Then they hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph’s Hospitality to His Brothers
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with his brothers, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they shall dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph had commanded and took the brothers to Joseph’s house.
18 But the brothers were frightened that they had been taken to Joseph’s house. “We have been brought here because of the silver that was returned in our bags the first time,” they said. “They intend to overpower us and take us as slaves, along with our donkeys.”
19 So they approached Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “Please, sir,” they said, “we really did come down here the first time to buy food. 21 But when we came to the place we lodged for the night, we opened our sacks and, behold, each of us found his silver in the mouth of his sack! It was the full amount of our silver, and we have brought it back with us. 22 We have brought additional silver with us to buy food. We do not know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 “It is fine,” said the steward. “Do not be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, gave you the treasure that was in your sacks. I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And the steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet, and provided food for their donkeys.
25 Since the brothers had been told that they were going to eat a meal there, they prepared their gift for Joseph’s arrival at noon. 26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought, and they bowed to the ground before him.
27 He asked if they were well, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28 “Your servant our father is well,” they answered. “He is still alive.” And they bowed down to honor him.
29 When Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Then he declared, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
30 Joseph hurried out because he was moved to tears for his brother, and he went to a private room to weep. 31 Then he washed his face and came back out. Regaining his composure, he said, “Serve the meal.”
32 They separately served Joseph, his brothers, and the Egyptians. They ate separately because the Egyptians would not eat with the Hebrews, since that was detestable to them. 33 They were seated before Joseph in order by age, from the firstborn to the youngest, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34 When the portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of the others. So they feasted and drank freely with Joseph.
14 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
Benjamin and the Silver Cup
1 Then Joseph instructed his steward: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each one’s silver in the mouth of his sack. 2 Put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.”
So the steward did as Joseph had instructed.
3 At daybreak, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph told his steward, “Pursue the men at once, and when you overtake them, ask, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? a 5 Is this not the cup b my master drinks from and uses for divination? What you have done is wicked!’ ”
6 When the steward overtook them, he relayed these words to them.
7 “Why does my lord say these things?” they asked. “Your servants could not possibly do such a thing. 8 We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found in the mouths of our sacks. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9 If any of your servants is found to have it, he must die, and the rest will become slaves of my lord.”
10 “As you say,” replied the steward. “But only the one who is found with the cup will be my slave, and the rest of you shall be free of blame.”
11 So each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 The steward searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest—and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they all tore their clothes, loaded their donkeys, and returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground before him.
15 “What is this deed you have done?” Joseph declared. “Do you not know that a man like me can surely divine the truth?”
16 “What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “How can we plead? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed the iniquity of your servants. We are now my lord’s slaves—both we and the one who was found with the cup.”
17 But Joseph replied, “Far be it from me to do this. The man who was found with the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may return to your father in peace.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18 Then Judah approached Joseph and said, “Sir, please let your servant speak personally to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’
20 And we answered, ‘We have an elderly father and a younger brother, the child of his old age. The boy’s brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21 Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I can see him for myself.’
22 So we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave, his father would die.’
23 But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your younger brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’
24 Now when we returned to your servant my father, we relayed your words to him.
25 Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some food.’
26 But we answered, ‘We cannot go down there unless our younger brother goes with us. So if our younger brother is not with us, we cannot see the man.’
27 And your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 When one of them was gone, I said: “Surely he has been torn to pieces.” And I have not seen him since. 29 Now if you also take this one from me and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’
30 So if the boy is not with us when I return to your servant, and if my father, whose life is wrapped up in the boy’s life, 31 sees that the boy is not with us, he will die. Then your servants will have brought the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in sorrow. 32 Indeed, your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father, saying, ‘If I do not return him to you, I will bear the guilt before you, my father, all my life.’
33 Now please let your servant stay here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy. Let him return with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father without the boy? I could not bear to see the misery that would overwhelm him.”
4 a LXX includes Why have you stolen my silver cup?
5 b Hebrew Is it not this which
Joseph Reveals His Identity
1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me!”
So none of them were with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household soon heard of it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?”
But they were unable to answer him, because they were terrified in his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me.” And they did so.
“I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed or angry with yourselves that you sold me into this place, because it was to save lives that God sent me before you. 6 For the famine has covered the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. 7 God sent me before you to preserve you as a remnant on the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. a 8 Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God, who has made me a father to Pharaoh—lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph Sends for His Father
9 Now return quickly to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says:God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me without delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen and be near me—you and your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own. 11 And there I will provide for you, because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise, you and your household and everything you own will come to destitution.’
12 Behold! You and my brother Benjamin can see that I, Joseph, am the one speaking with you. 13 Tell my father about all my splendor in Egypt and everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept as they embraced. 15 Joseph kissed each of his brothers as he wept over them. And afterward his brothers talked with him.
Pharaoh Invites Jacob to Egypt
16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and his servants were pleased.
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do as follows: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan. 18 Then bring your father and your families and return to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat from the fat of the land.’ 19 You are also directed to tell them:‘Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your young children and your wives, and bring your father and come back. 20 But pay no regard to your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ”
21 So the sons of Israel did as they were told. Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 He gave new garments to each of them, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver b and five sets of clothes. 23 And he sent to his father the following:ten donkeys loaded with the best of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and provisions for his father’s journey.
24 Then Joseph sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way!”
The Revival of Jacob
But Jacob was stunned, for he did not believe them. 27 However, when they relayed all that Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob was revived.
28 “Enough!” declared Israel. “My son Joseph is still alive! I will go to see him before I die.”
7 a Or and to keep you alive as a great band of survivors
22 b 300 shekels is approximately 7.5 pounds or 3.4 kilograms of silver.
Jacob’s Journey to Egypt
1 So Israel set out with all that he had, and when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And that night God spoke to Israel in a vision: “Jacob, Jacob!” He said.
“Here I am,” replied Jacob.
3 “I am God,” He said, “the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will surely bring you back. And Joseph’s own hands will close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel took their father Jacob in the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him, along with their children and wives. 6 They also took the livestock and possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt.
Those Who Went to Egypt
7 Jacob took with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.
The Children of Leah
8 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.
9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.
14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
The Children of Zilpah
17 The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah.
The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.
18 These are the sons of Jacob born to Zilpah—whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.
The Children of Rachel
19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
22 These are the sons of Rachel born to Jacob—fourteen in all.
The Children of Bilhah
23 The son of Dan: Hushim.
24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
25 These are the sons of Jacob born to Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.
26 All those belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt—his direct descendants, besides the wives of Jacob’s sons—numbered sixty-six persons. 27 And with the two sons i who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family who went to Egypt were seventy j in all.
Jacob Arrives in Egypt
28 Now Jacob had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When Jacob’s family arrived in the land of Goshen, 29 Joseph prepared his chariot and went there to meet his father Israel. Joseph presented himself to him, embraced him, and wept profusely.
30 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Finally I can die, now that I have seen your face and know that you are still alive!”
31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and inform Pharaoh: ‘My brothers and my father’s household from the land of Canaan have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they raise livestock, and they have brought their flocks and herds and all that they own.’
33 When Pharaoh summons you and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you are to say, ‘Your servants have raised livestock ever since our youth—both we and our fathers.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the land of Goshen, since all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”
10 a Jemuel is another name for Nemuel ; see Numbers 26:12.
10 b Zohar is a variant of Zerah ; see Numbers 26:13 and 1 Chronicles 4:24.
13 c Hebrew; SP and Syriac Puah ; see 1 Chronicles 7:1.
13 d Hebrew; SP and some LXX manuscripts Jashub ; see Numbers 26:24 and 1 Chronicles 7:1.
15 e That is, northwest Mesopotamia
16 f SP and LXX Zephon ; see also Numbers 26:15.
16 g Arodi is a variant of Arod ; see Numbers 26:17.
20 h That is, Heliopolis, as in LXX
27 i Hebrew; LXX the nine sons , probably including Joseph’s grandsons through Ephraim and Manasseh; see 1 Chronicles 7:14–29.
27 j Hebrew (see also Exodus 1:5); LXX (see also Acts 7:14) seventy-five
Jacob Settles in Goshen
1 So Joseph went and told Pharaoh: “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.”
2 And he chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 “What is your occupation?” Pharaoh asked Joseph’s brothers.
“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied, “both we and our fathers.”
4 Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live in the land for a time, because there is no pasture for the flocks of your servants, since the famine in the land of Canaan has been severe. So now, please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have come to you, 6 the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and brothers in the best part of the land. They may dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know of any talented men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 “How many years have you lived?” Pharaoh asked.
10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and departed from his presence.
11 So Joseph settled his father and brothers in the land of Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 Joseph also provided his father and brothers and all his father’s household with food for their families.
The Famine Continues
13 There was no food, however, in all that region, because the famine was so severe; the lands of Egypt and Canaan had been exhausted by the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan in exchange for the grain they were buying, and he brought it into Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money from the lands of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? For our funds have run out!”
16 “Then bring me your livestock,” said Joseph. “Since the money is gone, I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their flocks and herds, and their donkeys. Throughout that year he provided them with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18 When that year was over, they came to him the second year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord that our money is gone and all our livestock belongs to you. There is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Purchase us and our land in exchange for food. Then we, along with our land, will be slaves to Pharaoh. Give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
20 So Joseph acquired for Pharaoh all the land in Egypt; the Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields because the famine was so severe upon them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude b from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not acquire the priests’ portion of the land, for it had been given to them by Pharaoh. They ate the rations that Pharaoh supplied; so they did not sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have acquired you and your land for Pharaoh this day, here is seed for you to sow in the land. 24 At harvest time, you are to give a fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths will be yours as seed for the field and food for yourselves and your households and children.”
25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “We have found favor in our lord’s eyes, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26 So Joseph established a law that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh, and it is in effect in the land of Egypt to this day. Only the priests’ land does not belong to Pharaoh.
The Israelites Prosper in Goshen
27 Now the Israelites settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and became fruitful and increased greatly in number. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years, and the length of his life was 147 years.
29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise to show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I lie down with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me with them.”
Joseph answered, “I will do as you have requested.”
31 “Swear to me,” Jacob said.
So Joseph swore to him, and Israel bowed in worship at the head of his bed. c
9 a Hebrew sojourns ; twice in this verse
21 b SP, LXX, Vulgate; Hebrew removed the people to the cities
31 c Hebrew; LXX Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff ; see Hebrews 11:21.
Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up in bed.
3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty a appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there He blessed me 4 and told me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you; I will make you a multitude of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’
5 And now your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here shall be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them shall be yours, and they shall be called by the names of their brothers in the territory they inherit.
7 Now as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, b to my sorrow Rachel died along the way in the land of Canaan, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”
9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the sons God has given me in this place.”
So Jacob said, “Please bring them to me, that I may bless them.”
10 Now Israel’s eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly see. Joseph brought his sons to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11 “I never expected to see your face again,” Israel said to Joseph, “but now God has let me see your children as well.”
12 Then Joseph removed his sons from his father’s knees and bowed facedown.
13 And Joseph took both of them—with Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand—and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger; and crossing his hands, he put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said:
“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
may He bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they grow into a multitude upon the earth.”
17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was displeased and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18 “Not so, my father!” Joseph said. “This one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused. “I know, my son, I know!” he said. “He too shall become a people, and he too shall be great; nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”
20 So that day Jacob blessed them and said:
“By you shall Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you, as one who is above your brothers, I give the ridge of land d that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
3 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
7 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
16 c Or Angel
22 d Or one portion of the land ; Hebrew shekem , which sounds like the town and district called Shechem
Jacob Blesses His Sons
1 Then Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the days to come:
2 Come together and listen, O sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might,
and the beginning of my strength,
excelling in honor,
excelling in power.
4 Uncontrolled as the waters,
you will no longer excel,
because you went up to your father’s bed,
onto my couch, and defiled it.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their swords a are weapons of violence.
6 May I never enter their council;
may I never join their assembly.
For they kill men in their anger,
and hamstring oxen on a whim.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is strong,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will disperse them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
Your hand shall be on the necks of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
9 Judah is a young lion—
my son, you return from the prey.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down;
like a lioness, who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the staff from between his feet, c
until Shiloh d comes
and the allegiance of the nations is his.
11 He ties his donkey to the vine,
his colt to the choicest branch.
He washes his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore
and become a harbor for ships;
his border shall extend to Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the sheepfolds. e
15 He saw that his resting place was good
and that his land was pleasant,
so he bent his shoulder to the burden
and submitted to labor as a servant.
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 He will be a snake by the road,
a viper in the path
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider tumbles backward.
18 I await Your salvation, O LORD.
but he will attack their heels.
20 Asher’s food will be rich;
he shall provide royal delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns. h
22 Joseph is a fruitful vine—
a fruitful vine by a spring,
whose branches scale the wall. i
23 The archers attacked him with bitterness;
they aimed at him in hostility.
24 Yet he steadied his bow,
and his strong arms were tempered
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
in the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father who helps you,
and by the Almighty j who blesses you,
with blessings of the heavens above,
with blessings of the depths below,
with blessings of the breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father have surpassed
the blessings of the ancient mountains k
and the bounty of the everlasting hills.
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince of his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.”
28 These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this was what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.
The Death of Jacob
29 Then Jacob instructed them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.”
33 When Jacob had finished instructing his sons, he pulled his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and he was gathered to his people.
5 a Or dwelling places
8 b Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise .
10 c Or from his descendants
10 d Or until the one to whom tribute belongs
14 e Or saddlebags or hearths
16 f Or Dan shall judge his people ; Dan means He has judged or He has vindicated .
19 g Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raid and also for band of raiders .
21 h Or gives beautiful words or bears fawns of the fold
22 i Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey by a spring, with his wild colts beside the wall
25 j Hebrew Shaddai
26 k Or of my ancestors
Mourning and Burial for Jacob
1 Then Joseph fell upon his father’s face, wept over him, and kissed him.
2 And Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So they embalmed him, 3 taking the forty days required to complete the embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4 When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please tell Pharaoh that 5 my father made me swear an oath when he said, ‘I am about to die. You must bury me in the tomb that I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now let me go and bury my father, and then return.”
6 Pharaoh replied, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”
7 Then Joseph went to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh accompanied him—the elders of Pharaoh’s household and all the elders of the land of Egypt— 8 along with all of Joseph’s household, and his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children and flocks and herds were left in Goshen.
9 Chariots and horsemen alike went up with him, and it was an exceedingly large procession. 10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, which is across the Jordan, they lamented and wailed loudly, and Joseph mourned for his father seven days.
11 When the Canaanites of the land saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a solemn ceremony of mourning by the Egyptians.” Thus the place across the Jordan is called Abel-mizraim. a
12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had charged them. 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave at Machpelah in the field near Mamre, which Abraham had purchased from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site.
14 After Joseph had buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him to bury his father.
Joseph Comforts His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge? Then he will surely repay us for all the evil that we did to him.”
16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Before he died, your father commanded, 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I beg you, please forgive the transgression and sin of your brothers, for they did you wrong.’ So now, Joseph, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”
When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 18 His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”
19 But Joseph replied, “Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this—to preserve the lives of many people. 21 Therefore do not be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones.” So Joseph reassured his brothers and spoke kindly to them.
The Death of Joseph
22 Now Joseph and his father’s household remained in Egypt, and Joseph lived to the age of 110. 23 He saw Ephraim’s sons to the third generation, and indeed the sons of Machir son of Manasseh were brought up b on Joseph’s knees.
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely visit you and bring you up from this land to the land He promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. And they embalmed his body and placed it in a coffin in Egypt.
11 a Abel-mizraim means mourning of the Egyptians .
23 b Or born or placed at birth